Health Reform Without Apologies – The Health Care Blog

Commentary by John C Goodman

Source: The Health Care Blog

Have you ever seen a fair, unbiased, evenhanded explanation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Have you ever seen anything that even appeared to be objective? I haven't.

So to fill the gap, my colleagues and I have produced "What Does Health Care Reform Mean To You? A Consumer's Guide," which explains how the new health care overhaul works, in a question-and-answer format. You can also get a pamphlet version- ideal for doctors' offices, clinics, work places and everywhere else that people meet and socialize.

That it's the first effort anyone has made to even try to be objective is in itself rather amazing. See if you agree on whether we succeeded and give us your comments.

During the nine-month period leading up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Americans were subjected to more than $200 million worth of TV, radio, newsprint and Internet ads. Almost all of these - pro and con - were pure propaganda.

Even today, the White House and leaders of both political parties offer us little more than sound bites crafted for the evening news. A taxpayer-funded mailing to Medicare enrollees has been accused of selling more than informing. The government's own Web site, while containing much valuable information, touts only the benefits of reform and ignores the costs. A 24-page PowerPoint presentation, prepared for members of Congress who voted for PPACA, advises on words to use and words to avoid. It's all about spinning, not about informing. And, according to the LA Times, both sides are gearing up for another massive dose of TV ads as we move closer to the fall elections.

Most of the mainstream media has published "talking points" lists of the benefits, prepared by the White House. We don't know of any regular news source that has reported in a similar way on the costs. Even health policy journals have largely ignored the costs of reform and who will bear them. On the other side, Internet screeds warning of "death panels" have exaggerated from the opposite direction.

Many people are rightly confused about what to expect and why. We hope this publication will clear the air. Our goal is a balanced overview, with all important content sourced from government reports and other reputable documents.

John C. Goodman is president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.  He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system. Dr. Goodman's health policy blog is considered among the top conservative health care blogs on the internet where pro-free enterprise, private sector solutions to health care problems are discussed by top health policy experts from all sides of the political spectrum.

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